2016 in Review and 2017 Predictions

Another year comes to a close. It is time to review last year’s predictions and make new ones for 2017. As an annual tradition this post is written at the last minute in haste so please forgive any errors.

The biggest predictions talked about the US.  I thought that if Trump went up against Sanders he could win but that Clinton would beat him. I even put money down on Clinton winning last month which was obviously a yuge mistake. I stand by my statement that the Democrats should have run Kerry.

One suggestion was that Obama should go after huge sweeping laws to try and change things like gun control to expose the Republicans as obstructionists. I now realize it would not have mattered because calling out Republicans as hypocrites, liars or anything else simply has no effect.

In Canadian politics the prediction was that the Liberals would need to make some decisions on fighter jets, TPP, ISIS bombing and Syrian refugees. One prediction was that the bid for fighter jets would be opened up but that the F35 would be eligible for the tender.  Instead the Liberals are looking into getting some Super Hornets until they can decide when or how to start the decision process. They should ask Chretien how his helicopters worked out. If Trudeau calls the F35 the Cadillac of jets we are in real trouble.

We allowed Syrian refugees but did not send troops or air power to Syria.

The TPP might be dead in the water with Trump being elected but we did get a trade deal signed with the Euro zone which was a good thing. Trump said he would pull out of the TPP but he is not against completely ignoring what he says when it comes to taking action. He will likely walk back the strength of his anti-TPP rhetoric.

Brexit happened. I didn’t really think that was a possibility but it did happen. Now the UK has to make their article 50 declaration and start the process of leaving the Euro zone. Decades of laws need to be re-written. New trade policy established. It is not going to be pretty.  Many expected there to be some big implosion as soon as the vote happened and then when there were no major market changes took it as a sign that the Brexit was not going to cause any problems. The problems that will be caused by Brexit are much longer term and the cracks will start to show in 2017. The UK will very quickly need to establish the free movement of goods and money to the continent or businesses will start to look to move their supply chains and offices into Europe. Uncertainty is never good for business. Along with the Article 50 declarations they need a very clear roadmap for the transition; without it there will be some serious issues.  Capital will flow out of the country and the pound will start to lose strength.

The inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has a preliminary report due on November 1st 2017 with a final report due on November 1st, 2018.  It has begun as predicted but we will need to wait for the conclusion to confirm the second part of that prediction that a major cause of this issue is poverty. The inquiry did not expand to include all missing and murdered aboriginal people as was suggested. The budget has been set at $53.8 million. My prediction is that they use up more than three quarters of that budget before the end of the year.

The prediction on pipelines was quite short.  “Pipelines. There will be much talk of pipelines. Many protests. Then some more talking.” Well we have had massive protests, one pipeline approved here in Canada but nothing really resolved. Trump will approve the Keystone XL in 2017.

Let’s do some more 2017 predictions.

First, Trump and US politics.  It is a madhouse down there right now. Trump is said to be unpredictable but really he is very consistent. “Do what is best for Trump and Trump’s family and friends” should be his motto.

There have already been several instances of this but members foreign governments will be encouraged to use/invest in/endorse Trump-owned assets. Hotels, golf courses, etc.

Pull out of any climate talks and claim that the science is not clear on the human effects on the planet.

Continue to take credit for business decisions he had nothing to do with like Ford keeping jobs in the US or Japanese high tech investment.

Announce he is not building a wall and possibly claim he never said that in the first place and instead say he will add to the border patrol budget.

Increase spending across the board without any protest from Republicans about deficits or debt ceilings.

Have to defend himself in court while being president. Republicans will be silent about impeachment.

Threaten China with military action without actually understanding what he is doing.  Example: “If China puts their carriers where we don’t want them then we can sink them.” Then the next day claim he loves China and that people are twisting his words.

2017 is going to be a shitshow in the US.

One positive thing to come out of the election is that Twitter and Facebook are going to start cracking down on fake news. Now like many things the far right wing have taken a term, in this case “fake news”, that applies to their news sources like InfoWars and Breitbart and applied it to ABC, NBC, NYT and real news sites but at least we can get the real junk off people’s Facebook news feeds.

In Canada our dollar is going to have a rough year.  With more interest rate increases in the US and the BoC holding their current level we should see our dollar start to drop even more. The bigger issues is that if bonds continue to move then we could see increases on mortgage rates even without any move by the BoC. With Poloz at the helm the BoC mandate has never been crystal clear. It could be that they welcome a lower Canadian dollar in order to stimulate exports.

The Canadian housing market has been predicted to crash for years now. Every year Toronto and Vancouver continue to have massive price increases.  This could certainly slow down in 2017 with extra taxes in Vancouver but it could be that the problem isn’t all that evil Chinese money flowing in but a lack of housing supply. Canada will begin tracking foreign ownership data this year so we should see some interesting results. Also, it will take a few months for people to find ways around the tax laws like foreigners paying citizens to buy the houses in their names.

As for Webernet.ca, it will continue to live on in its 7th year. The low bar of a post a month will continue. Every year I think about all the extra things I am going to add but then I stick with the 1 post a month.

It is said that saying you are going to do something gives a similar satisfaction to actually doing it as long as people are listening. This year I will simply say that my goal is create more and hope it leads to a better website experience for you.

Thanks for reading in 2016, see you next year.